Reflections on a Nicaraguan Student

Paola Lisseth doing homework.
Paola Lisseth doing homework.

A couple of weeks ago, as I attended my fifth-grade son’s open house, I marveled at how much technology American children have at their disposal. It was the end of the year, and the kids were turning in the laptops their school had provided for homework. Yes, school-provided laptops! I compared this to my experiences traveling in the developing world. Students there were lucky if they had electricity, much less access to a computer.

My thoughts also returned to a particular Nicaraguan college student, Paola Lisseth.  I had interviewed her while she engaged in schoolwork on a small table in her meager home. I remembered the interview very well. Paola told me she shared this tiny house with her mother and sister. There was no electricity. No running water. Yet, Paola had worked hard enough to finish high school, had received a college degree, and was now working on her teacher certification.

I was amazed.  How could a young woman achieve so much with so little technology at her disposal? Clearly, she was inspired. She loved her teachers. She loved the Lord. And she wanted to learn.

Then I thought back to my own child.  I imagined the heights he could achieve if only he had such inspiration. More than technology, it would likely be the key to his success as well.

Surely inspiration is something we should wish upon all children – and we should nurture it wherever it is found

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